Review *Bigfoot Mountain*
Published by Firefly Press Ltd
Illustrated by Jess Mason
Minnie felt connected to the world when she was looking down from high up in a tree, LOVED the smell of pine & sticky hands from sap as she climbed.
She loved being outside - except once, when her mass of curly hair got caught up so badly her mum had to cut her tangles out of twigs with scissors!
Living in a forest with cabins might sound like the perfect setting but since her mum passed away, life here with only her step-dad, Dan, isn't really the perfect scenario anyone dreams about.
She & Dan grieve separately whilst life goes on, surrounded by nothing but water, trees & animals.
Minnie (who dreams of being a pilot) & her friend Billy discover four GIANT footprints on a mountain trail but Dan (a former pilot) insists it's just hoaxers messing about.
Though she has books & the internet, it's time spent exploring that Minnie really LOVES. It's also exploring & catching salmon with her mum that she misses the most.
Tracking deer prints with friend Billy - one of the few others who lived in their group of cabins - was a fun thing to do, breaking up the times that were too quiet.
Even Musto, Billy's dog, acted a bit strangely one time when they found footprints.
Way too big to be Dan's - what were they supposed to think? They couldn't just ignore them.
Could something be there? Were they being watched?
They found strange trees with no roots, in the shape of an X. Who does that?
The parallel story character Kaayii - a young sasquatch - sits high in trees, eating bugs from the bark. Curious about humans but keeping watch from a distance, Kaayii isn't alone. He has a large family.
Sasquatch have a special connection with the environment & nature. Heightened senses that help them understand nature & their world. They're peaceful & caring - not scary like so many people expect. Sasquatch live in harmony with other animals, foraging, sharing, eating roots, shoots, nuts berries & drinking water droplets from grass.
Kaayii can see a lot from a height, including smoke from raging forest fires that had forced his clan to relocate from the opposite side of the mountain.
Will Minnie discover Kaayii? Their lives might eventually meet but will sasquatch clash or be peaceful? Their communication was usually mind-speak through glances but in excitement, fear or to a group they'd resort to words & their musical rhythms formed a rich, unique language amongst the clan.
Discovering special messages & notes in recipes from her mum gives Minnie a fresh feeling of connection & cooking for Dan adds to that dimension. Even on hikes in the forest where moose, raccoons & other animals lived, Minnie felt her mum was with her.
Strange sounds & stranger events made Dan, Connie & Bill think twice about what's going on around them. Will Minnie's determination to learn about Bigfoot & actually see one, pay off?
Grief is a different type of struggle for everyone. Even the sasquatch in this story experience it. Everyone deals with things in their own way - at their own speed & that's ok. Sometimes something as simple as eye contact can be more significant than we expect. This is a wonderful story with so many threads skilfully woven together & wrapped beautifully in love & connection.